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Travel Nurse Interview
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30 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion

Updated December 5th, 2018 | Darby Faubion has been a Nurse and Allied Health Educator for over twenty years. She has clinical experience in several specialty areas including pediatrics, medical-surgical, critical care, and hospice.
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Question 1 of 30
What is something you learned from your previous boss?
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How to Answer
Remember: if you get the job, the person interviewing you may one day be your previous boss. The last thing they want is to hire someone who they know is going to badmouth them some day. Instead of focusing on any negative incident, try to think about any positive thing you learned from your previous boss or a way that you say him positively impact things at work.
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Answer Examples
1.
What is something you learned from your previous boss?
Remember: if you get the job, the person interviewing you may one day be your previous boss. The last thing they want is to hire someone who they know is going to badmouth them some day. Instead of focusing on any negative incident, try to think about any positive thing you learned from your previous boss or a way that you say him positively impact things at work.

Darby's Answer #1
"My last boss taught me the importance of time management. He didn't pull any punches, and was extremely deadline-driven. His no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and manage my case loads way more efficiently."
Darby's Answer #2
"My previous employer was a very kind-hearted person. Even when things seemed stressful at work or we had a really hectic day, she always seemed to keep her cool. Her attitude set the pace for our whole team."
2.
Have you ever considered choosing a different specialty?
Many employee candidates are unsure of how to answer this question. Most feel that if they say they may have other interests that the interviewer will not recommend them for employment. This is not necessarily the case. This is simply an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know your interests.

Darby's Answer #1
"I have never considered any specialty other than nursing. From the time I decided to go to medical school I knew I wanted to be a traveling nurse. I am happy to take classes and continue my education, perhaps for an advanced degree that may go hand in hand with current role, but I am not interested in changing my specialty."
Darby's Answer #2
"Actually, I had initially thought that I would become a xray technician. Something about nursing was just very intriguing to me and I knew I wanted to make a career in this specialty area."
3.
Have you ever been in a situation in which a co-worker put a patient in jeopardy? If so, how did you handle it?
If you have ever been faced with a situation that resulted in you having to make a judgment call that may have affected the job of a friend or co-worker, you know how disheartening it can be. However, nurses are bound by law to protect patients and other co-workers by reporting anything in appropriate or dangerous. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying and reporting a situation if needed.

Darby's Answer #1
"I actually have experienced a time that I had to report a co-worker to my supervisor. One of my peers had a diabetic patient who had insulin order per sliding scale. The nurse gave insulin to the patient without checking his blood sugar level first. She told me and asked me not to tell anyone. However, I knew that patient safety the responsibility of everyone. So, I did notify the supervisor."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have never been in a situation that required me to report a coworker. Honestly, I hope I never experience a situation like that."
4.
Nursing requires a great deal of physical exertion and travel nurses work in various positions. Are you comfortable with physically demanding assignments?
The nursing profession can be physically demanding. Standing and walking for long stretches, assisting in lifting patients and staying awake for odd hours and long periods of time are some of the physical demands of the job. For the position that you are interviewing for, make sure to research what the physical demands are for the job and point out how you are able to handle those tasks. It can also be beneficial to discuss your self-care methods because being a nurse often requires being in healthy mental and physical condition.

Darby's Answer #1
"Through my nursing career, I have spent many long hours on my feet and working shifts at non-traditional times. To be able to do this with ease, I have worked hard to be in the best physical shape that I can be by jogging on a regular basis, eating healthy and getting ample amounts of sleep each and every night."
Darby's Answer #2
"I know that as I enter a nursing career, I will be asked to do some pretty extreme physical activity. Lifting patients and standing for long hours at a time comes easy to me as I've participate in sports all the way through high school and continued this through college. Being in great shape and eating healthy is a lifestyle choice that I have made and it will definitely help me in my nursing career moving forward."
5.
How would you respond to an emergency situation at work?
Depending on the situation, you will want to respond quickly and make yourself available to assist the doctor in any way you can. Be aware of the surroundings and also observe the patient. Your best response will be one where you are sensitive to the situation by listening closely to the doctor and nurses involved. There may not be anything you can do to help, but if you get in the way, you could definitely create more problems. Ask what you can do and pay attention. If you need to step aside, be respectful and understanding.

Darby's Answer #1
"If an emergency were to arise, I would wait patiently for the doctors orders and assist her or him in whatever she or he needs. If there is an immediate danger to a patient or someone in my care, I would make sure to offer assistance to get them to safety."
Darby's Answer #2
"There can be any number of emergency situations in a healthcare facility, so how I would respond would be dependent upon what type of emergency it is. First and foremost is the safety of patients and employees. I would make sure no one is in immediate danger and follow any emergency protocol, per facility instructions."
6.
In addition to providing care to ill clients, nurses must attend to stressed out family members. How do you approach offering support to family members?
It is natural for caregivers to be afraid and experience anxiety. Communicating your compassion and knack for comforting others will show an interviewer how well-rounded you are as a nursing professional.

Darby's Answer #1
"Caring for family members often requires as much patience as caring for our patients. They are naturally afraid of a possible difficult outcome with regard to their loved ones. I always try to speak kindly and offer time to answer questions and give family members an opportunity to talk about what concerns them. While every day does not Offer as much free time as others, a few minutes can often make a big difference to a concerned family member."
Darby's Answer #2
"I know what it's like to be the family member who is worried about a loved one requiring care. I remember when my father was very ill. He had some nurses who were very kind and approachable. He had a few that were not so kind. I always try to remember how I felt when I was the one in need of support and to treat those family members with the same kind of respect and kindness that I wanted."
7.
In your position now, knowing what you do, what would you say to someone who is just now starting a nursing career?
The old saying 'Hindsight is 20/20' is something many people say is true. This question gives you an opportunity to show how you have grown and what kind of wisdom you may pass on to someone who is coming into this career after you.

Darby's Answer #1
"I would say, 'Be open to changes and unexpected discoveries.' I started medical school thinking I would do gynecology, but like many other things in life, that changed."
Darby's Answer #2
"I would have to say, 'If you feel like you want to specialize in one area and then change your mind, go with it. We all have that special calling in our life. We just have to listen for it.'"
8.
Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills? Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. Share why you think you have good relationship building skills.
Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. Share why you think you have good relationship building skills.

Darby's Answer #1
"I have often been complimented on my relationship building skills. I like to get to know people and ask them questions about themselves; I find it's a great and simple way to start building rapport with others. I consider myself to be a strong relationship builder and take pride in my 'people skills.'"
Darby's Answer #2
"I do feel like I have good relationship building skills. I like people and enjoy getting to know them."
9.
Some travel nurses are assigned to well-child clinics. Have you ever done wellness exams or given immunizations to pediatric patients?
Depending on the services a facility provides, some pediatric nurses may be expected to assist with well child exams and/or give immunizations. While every skill you are asked about in an interview may not be a mandatory skill for employment, the interviewer will be able to compare your experience and skills with all possible openings.

Darby's Answer #1
"I used to work in a health unit and one of my primary jobs was to well-child exams and health screenings and to give immunizations to pediatric patients."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have always worked the pediatric unit in a hospital setting. So far, I have not had experience with working with well-child care and screenings or immunization administration."
10.
What about your work feeds your spirit?
This question will give the interviewer an inside look at how you think and what motivates you. This is an opportunity to let the interviewer see inside you, not just watch perform a task. Be open. If you can recall a specific event that happened while working that made you happy or feel fulfilled, share it.

Darby's Answer #1
"Every day that I go to work, I realize how amazing children really are. I look into the eyes of the children I care for and realize that I have been blessed with an incredible job and career."
Darby's Answer #2
"To be able to care for a child during a time that is so stressful and to be able to touch the lives of others in some small way is meaningful beyond words. When a parent looks me in the eye, gives me a hug, and thanks me for making a difference in the life of their child, the feeling is remarkable."
11.
What motivates you to do a good job?
This question is practically begging you to highlight your positive attributes. So don't give a vague, generic response - it tells them very little about you. Instead, try and use this question as an opportunity to give the interviewer some insight into your character, and use examples where possible.

Darby's Answer #1
"I've always been motivated by the challenge of a tough patient. In my last role, I came across a particular patient who refused a handful of nurses before he was assigned to me. I was able to find something we had in common, which calmed him down. After the patient saw me make an effort to better understand his situation, he became much more agreeable to my aid. I love facing and overcoming challenges on such a personal level."
Darby's Answer #2
"The feeling of knowing that I have the chance to improve the quality of life
For someone really motivates me. There is just something about knowing that I can have a small part in the life of someone who is trusting me to care for them."
12.
What made you decide on a career as a travel nurse?
Interviewers almost always ask a candidate what made them choose their career. This is an opportunity to tell the interviewer what you like, what drives you. This is a chance for the interviewer to get to know you on a more personal level

Darby's Answer #1
"I always knew I wanted to be a nurse; there was no doubt about that. When I began to research the different careers that are available for nurses, I was surprised to find out how much demand there is for travel nurses. I love what I do!"
Darby's Answer #2
"I didn't know in the beginning what exactly I wanted to do, only that I wanted to be a nurse. I enjoy meeting new people and being able to experience the different types of facilities there are from state to state."
13.
How do you handle stressful situations?
Stress management will be essential for you to be able to handle tight deadlines, long hours and demanding patients. Before answering this question, think of some tools that have helped you manage your stress. What will you do when you can't take a break when you need it? How will you stay calm when dealing with those challenging personalities? Share any helpful techniques that you use every day to remain clear-headed in some of the most stressful scenarios.

Darby's Answer #1
"I've learned not to take words or actions of stressed patients personally. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a deadline and being pulled in too many directions, I can ground myself knowing that I'm providing the best customer service and caring for my patients the best way that I can."
Darby's Answer #2
"When I am under pressure on the job, I try to focus on the job at hand. I like to make lists and prioritize activities that I need to accomplish."
14.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
There's really no right answer to this question, but the interviewer wants to know that you're ambitious, career-oriented, and committed to a future with the hospital. So instead of sharing your dream for early retirement, or trying to be funny, give them an answer that illustrates your drive and commitment.

Darby's Answer #1
"In five years I'd like to have an even better understanding of the travel nurse industry. I really love working with people and helping them realize their dreams. Ultimately, I'd like to be in some type of recruitment and management role in travel nursing, where I can use my people skills and nursing knowledge to benefit the nurses working with me in this industry."
Darby's Answer #2
"I really want to focus on my career and possibly gain some more certifications that will make me a more valuable asset to the team I am working with."
15.
Salary is often commensurate with experience. How do you feel about someone with more experience than you having a higher salary but doing the same job?
Most employers do offer higher salary incentives to get more seasoned employees. This is not meant to devalue a person's knowledge or experience, but rather paying for more experience. It is important to note that the interviewer is not saying you will definitely make less than someone with more experience. Many times this question is to see how you respond and how badly you want a position. If an employee is willing to put in the work and earn the pay increase, employers often see them as someone worth investing in. This is a good time to ask what the beginning salary is and discuss options that are negotiable such as benefits and paid time off.

Darby's Answer #1
"I realize that salaries are often determined by the amount of experience an applicant has. I appreciate the fact that employers recognize experience as a factor in determining pay and am willing to show that I am worthy."
Darby's Answer #2
"I don't have a problem with someone who has more experience than me making a higher salary. I respect the experience that others have and know that I will have to prove myself."
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30 Travel Nurse Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What is something you learned from your previous boss?
  2. Have you ever considered choosing a different specialty?
  3. Have you ever been in a situation in which a co-worker put a patient in jeopardy? If so, how did you handle it?
  4. Nursing requires a great deal of physical exertion and travel nurses work in various positions. Are you comfortable with physically demanding assignments?
  5. How would you respond to an emergency situation at work?
  6. In addition to providing care to ill clients, nurses must attend to stressed out family members. How do you approach offering support to family members?
  7. In your position now, knowing what you do, what would you say to someone who is just now starting a nursing career?
  8. Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills? Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. Share why you think you have good relationship building skills.
  9. Some travel nurses are assigned to well-child clinics. Have you ever done wellness exams or given immunizations to pediatric patients?
  10. What about your work feeds your spirit?
  11. What motivates you to do a good job?
  12. What made you decide on a career as a travel nurse?
  13. How do you handle stressful situations?
  14. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  15. Salary is often commensurate with experience. How do you feel about someone with more experience than you having a higher salary but doing the same job?
  16. What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
  17. Can you recall a time when you had a disagreement with a co-worker or boss? If so, how was it resolved?
  18. Do you have experience working with peers from diverse backgrounds?
  19. How do you prioritize when multiple patients and procedures demand your attention at once?
  20. When did you first decide to become a nurse, and why?
  21. Why do you think nurses often report experiencing 'burn out' and what do you do to help try to prevent that?
  22. Tell me about a time you had to communicate bad news to a patient. How did you effectively communicate that news and what was the outcome?
  23. How would your coworkers describe you?
  24. Have you ever had a disagreement with a coworker? If so, how was it resolved?
  25. What are some things that you do to keep your medical records portfolio up to date?
  26. Has there ever been a time when you received negative feedback, and how did you handle it?
  27. Travel nurses are often required to work odd shifts. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?
  28. Do you have any specialty nursing certifications?
  29. What measures did you take to prepare yourself for the travel demands that this career requires?
  30. What characteristics do you think are important for healthcare professionals to have?
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